Psalms Week 39 – Study Guide

Intro:

  1. Can you be full of hope and be an atheist? Why or why not?
  1. Can you not feel hopeful and be a committed Christian? Why or why not?
  1. What is the difference between “feeling” hope and having “reason” to hope?
  1. What happens to the authentic follower of Christ who commits suicide?

Read: Ps 88:13-18, Ps 77:1-11

Discuss:

  1. The Psalmist says “darkness is his closest friend.” Have you ever felt this way? Known anyone who has felt this way?
  1. Why isn’t he talking to the darkness? What does this fact say about his “actual” closest friend?
  1. Luke 18:10-13 contrasts two men. One desperate, one confident. What does this parable tell us about the “role” of feeling desperate and how it can “benefit” us?
  1. Discuss these statements:

*The absence of despair is not always because of the presence of faith.

*The presence of despair is not always because of the absence of faith.

  1. Play the song “Floodplain” (YouTube or other sites have it). Discuss it.
  1. Why is it so important to “ground your faith in the past acts of God?” What does this mean for the Christian?
  1. What do you think this quote means, “Hope is a memory of the future”?
  1. What do you think this election cycle tells us about our “hopes” as a nation?
  1. On the “hope” scale, how would you evaluate the placement of your hopes in regard to biblical priorities? Have you made “small hopes” large and the “large hope” small? Why? What can be done?

Apply:

Read: “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”

*What do you need “sufficient courage” for right now? Pray with a friend about this.

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